THE BLACK DEATH:BRING OUT YOUR DEAD! The Great Plague 1348-1350 AD
THE BLACK DEATH Watch the video clip Bring out your dead – Monty Python and the Holy Grail. What are your thoughts on the video clip?
THE BLACK DEATH • Ring Around the Rosie • Pocket Full of Posies • Ashes, Ashes • We All Fall Down • Rings of the plague appear on the body • Posies used to ward off death and preserve bodies for burial – sometimes these herbs contained parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. • Too many bodies to bury so they are burned • The disease is most always fatal
THE DISEASE REACHES ITALY FIRST THEN SPREADS NORTH The Black Death starts in China/Mongolia then spreads to Europe along the trade routes
HOW ARTIST VIEWED THIS PERIOD http://www.auburn.edu/~marchjl/plague.htm
"Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them the people quickly drove the Italians from their city. However, the disease remained, and soon death was every where. Fathers abandoned their sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left to care for the sick, and monasteries and convents were soon deserted, as they were stricken, too. Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them a Christian burial." • -Giovanni Boccaccio
THE BLACK DEATH ENTERS EUROPE • In order to understand the affects the disease had on Europe and its history, it is important to understand the biology involved in the study of the disease and its transmission. When looking at a disease, four factors must be considered: Environment, Causation, Transmission, and Toxicity.
THE BLACK DEATH 1. Environment THE POPULATION: *The population between the tenth and fourteenth centuries increased by over 300%. *By the mid 1300’s the population of Europe was over 75 million people.
*This burst in population was in part due to better technology. New plows and other innovations in agriculture, such as crop rotation, helped increase food output to sustain a higher population. *Many serfs became not as dependent on the farm and could move leading to the increase in the size of cities.
THE BLACK DEATH PROBLEMS IN THE CITIES AND TOWNS: 1. Houses lacked plumbing, running water, or bathrooms. Chamber pots were used and then emptied into the streets. Walls of castles and houses were stained with human excrement.
2.The streets had a single trench that ran down the center so when it rained it would carry away the waste. This water emptied into nearby lakes and rivers used for drinking water.
THE BLACK DEATH 2. Wealthier families had cesspools that often leaked into the water supply. In addition, the graveyards within the town presented a problem because of decaying bodies leaked into the water supply as well,
3. In addition to the filth medieval towns and cities were home to dogs, swine, and rats. 4. Before the plague these towns and cities experienced diseases like cholera, smallpox, and influenza.
What Is Plague? • In 1894, Alexandre Yersin, a French doctor studying plague in Hong Kong, first described the bacterium that causes plague. It is called Yersinia pestis after him. The bacteria are spread to humans by the bite of a flea carried by an infected animal, usually a wild rodent. Although plague is still a serious illness, it is now rare. www.humanillnesses.com/original/Pan-Pre/Plague
THE BLACK DEATH 2. CAUSATION / TRANSMISSION 1-The Black death is caused by Yersinia Pestis, a bacteria that lives in the digestive track of fleas. There the bacteria thrives and multiplies.
2-The flea is a parasite that survives by sucking the blood of its host. In this case, the host was usually the common black rat.
3-As the flea feeds, the bacteria continues to multiply until it causes a blockage. Then the flea vomits. Consequently, this occurs when the flea is feeding. Therefore, the flea vomits into the blood stream of the host releasing some of the plague causing bacteria.
4- Eventually the bacteria invades the nervous system of the rat and soon the rat dies. The flea must then seek a new host and since the rats lived very close to humans in medieval Europe the fleas would then bite the humans to make a new host.
3. TOXICITY: Three types of Plague: 1. Pneumonic Plague: This type of plague infected the lungs of the victim. After a three day period of incubation, the person would get a fever and a terrible cough that produced blood. Coma would soon follow. This strain is rare but 95% fatal. This was transmitted from human to human by coughing.
2-Septicaemic Plague: The rarest of the three forms. The bacteria multiply rapidly within the bloodstream of the victim, causing an intense rash all over the body within hours of the infection. Death occurs within a day and in 100% fatal.
THE BLACK DEATH 3-Bubonic Plague: This is the most common form of plague and what we know as the “Black Death”. The incubation period of this plague is anywhere from three to eight days. The bacteria multiply in the lymph nodes of the victim causing swelling on the neck, groin, and/or armpits. These swellings are called buboes, thus the term bubonic.
The bacteria then moves into the blood stream and attacks the organs. Under the skin the blood vessels break and cause the skin to change colors (darker and darker until almost black). Often blood would ooze from the skin and bowels. Urine would turn black or red. Fatality rates were 50% - 60%.
THE BLACK DEATH • What Medieval man though caused the plague: When the outbreak of plague hit Paris, King Philip VI asked the physicians at the University of Paris to look into the causes. They thought the plague was caused by an upset alignment of the stars and the sun.
THEORIES ON HOW TO PREVENT THE PLAGUE: 1. People were told not to sleep during the day 2. Diets of broth were recommended 3. Fires were believed to drive away the pestilence and people were told to keep warm. This last point worked as the fires kept away the fleas. Pope Clement VI, living in Avignon, sat in his closed room for months between two large fires. He survived the plague.
Medieval Doctors believed the body was made up of four humors: yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm. These four made up the four elements found on earth: fire, earth, air, and water. When someone contracted the plague doctors believed the persons body was out of balance between these four areas. Doctors had two ways to rebalance the body: 1. Bloodletting- The buboes were cut open to release blood. 2. The person was forced to vomit
The Church had the view that the plague was caused by the wrath of God. Appealing to saints and prayer were the only way to be saved. • Ideas how to avoid the plague: • 1. Moderation in food and drink • 2. Avoid marshy, low-lying areas • 3. Move to the country
4. Use strong smelling spices to clean the bad air. People were told to carry a bag full of posies. People filled their houses with flowers and incense. • 5. Bathing was discouraged for it would open the pores and invite in the disease.
Medieval treatment for the Black Death: 1. Drink melted gold 2. Swallow blood from a victim that survived the plague 3. Place on the buboes the blood from a pigeon or one month old puppy 4. Magic – ABRACADABRA worn around the neck on a triangular piece of paper.
THE BLACK DEATH ABRACADABRA ABRACADABR ABRACADAB ABRACADA ABRACAD ABRACA ABRAC ABRA ABR AB A
Medieval Medical Worker – Note the mask that was suppose to ward off the plague.
The Black Death, or bubonic plague is not extinct. It still infects thousands of people all across the world each year. Even though there is a vaccine today, if not treated quickly, the bubonic plague can be just as deadly as it was in the Middle Ages.
In the world some 1,000 – 3,000 people die from the black death each year. • In the United States between 10 and 20 people die each year from the bubonic plague.
3. Today in the United States if you contract the bubonic plague you have a one out of seven chance of death. 4. Between 1901 – 1904, 122 people died in an outbreak of the plague in the San Francisco area. 5. In 1925, at least 33 people died of the plague in Los Angeles.
6. Between 1980 and 1994, 18,739 cases of plague were reported to the World Health Organization. 7. In 1994, a plague epidemic broke out in India and as many as 5,000 were infected with between 50 – 300 deaths. What changes in the 1300’s could have helped prevent this catastrophe?
WOULD YOU SURIVE THE PLAGUE- Simulation?In many cases it was random chance • Anyone with a Red card survives and has not been infected by the Black Death • Anyone with a Black card has been infected by the Black Death • Those holding a spade will die • This Represents about 35-50% of the population One deck hearts/clubs/spades only
THE BLACK DEATH WORK CITED: Bring Out Your Dead! Recreating the black Death in the Classroom – Bell, Book and Camera Productions Gottfried, Robert S. The Black Death: Natural and Human Disasters in Medieval Europe. New York: The Free Press, 1983
THE QUIZ OF DEATH • Where did the Black Death originate? • What did the Black Death form on the bodies of its victims? • What rodents/insects are the cause of the Black Death? • What did the scientists in France think caused the Plague? • What percentage of Europe is estimated died from the Black Death? • According to the Church what caused the Plague? • How did the people catch the Bubonic Plague? • Around what year did the worst case of the Black Death affect Europe?
ANSWERS • 1- China / Mongolia • 2- Buboes or large bumps • 3 - Rats and Fleas • 4 - The Stars and Sun were in a bad alignment • 5 - Between 1/3 to 1/2 (about 38 million people are believed to have died) • 6 - An angry God • 7 - By bacteria from flea bites • 8 - c. 1350